As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard,
so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
A thorn is such a little nuisance when inflicted to the flesh and one to which the whole body responds in pain. Did you know that it is possible to get an infection from a thorn that could go to the very bone ending in death? The infliction may start out a miniscule puncture much like a mustard seed that can grow in mammoth proportions over time. This is why thorns and thistles make such good symbols in the Bible and are used quite often. We as Christians do not get the pointpun intended.
Jesus revealed the symbol of what the thorn represents in a parable, but we have not completely gotten it.
Matt13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
The revelation of thorns Jesus shows us is:
1. the cares of life
2. deceit of worldliness
The first time we see thorns and thistles used is in the book of Genesis after the fall of Adam. Thorns are the curse resulting from sin. Look:
Gen 3:17-19 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
We read thinking that this means that the ground will be hard to plow or that man will now have to work hard for a living from then on. What it is really saying is that Satan has now inflicted man with the work of thorns and thistles, which are the cares of life and deceit of worldliness. With the introduction of cares or stress and anxiety of life comes death. Medical research has seen a direct link between diseases and stress. Some estimates say 40 - 80% of all visits to doctors may be directly related to stress. Worry sets off a chemical reaction from our daily frustrations, which are generally petty in nature, for example:
The kids not picking up after themselves
Fido tracked mud onto the carpet
Hubby left wet towels on the clean bedspread
An unbalanced checkbook
Things that need to get done
When these chemical reactions - like the adrenalin flowing - happen often, we can easily develop stress related diseases and complaints. There are many, many conditions likely caused by stress. Far too many of us suffer from things like:
The curse of the thorns and thistles initiating stress and worry rob us of the peace promised in Isaiah:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Looking closely at what it says: "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" Are you getting the point? Jesus wore the chastisement of our peace upon His head. What was on Jesus head?
Matt 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
Jesus Himself bore the chastisement of the cares of life and deceit of worldliness upon His head. Stress, anxiety, frustrations as well as our peace come from our thoughts the brainthe head. Jesus gave us the helmet of salvation for this very purpose! We cast our cares/thorns upon Him and He bore them to the cross, trading our thorns that we may wear His Helmet of Salvation!
1 Peter 5:7-10 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Notice by this Scripture in 1 Peter verse 7 that it gives the real remedy for stress, which is not tranquilizers or alcohol vs. 8. What is responsible for alcoholism and tranquilizers but for accepting the thornscares and deceit of this world!
There is a great example in the Scriptures of Paul and his thorn in 2Co 12. A messenger of Satan has attacked Paul with a thorn to try to stop Paul's efforts. Paul's thorn is his frustration in the inability to produce results! Ask any minister if they have felt impotent in trying to convey the responsibility of Truth to the people as a great frustration! Paul took upon himself the cares of this! As ministers of the gospel our commission is to feed the sheep/lambs of God. God's responsibility is to watch over His Word to perform it or bring it to pass. No matter how much talking, pleading or begging we do, it is not up to man to perform the Word of God or to bring it to pass. Jesus himself did not beg nor plead His case. He simply presented Himselfthe WORD of God walking the earth healing and setting free the captive. Not all hearing Him received and not all by His presence healed.
2 Cor 12:7-10
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Infirmities/ἀσθένεια: feebleness in body or mind
Necessities/ἀναγκή: begging for needful things
Persecutions/διωγμός: attacks of man
Distresses/στενοχωρία: anguish and stress
Paul's responsibility was to cast the thorns of care upon Christ who paid in full, for the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. God will not cast off our cares anymore than He may cloth us with the Ephesians' armor. This is our responsibility to cast off care and to invest in the helmet of Salvation. The Scripture tells us to put on, which is to invest in Christ. God will not do that for us.
When you see a ministry in distress whatever the cause it will be from the thorn. Situations come and go, but what we do about them will show in the outcome! Whether financial, spiritual, temptation or like Paul, the inability to produce results which got him all distressed, if we cast off the crown of thorns at Jesus' feet, He will take itHe has taken it.
Isa 55:12-13 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
My name is Rebecca O'Connor. I have been a teacher in elementary education for years, written a few books, and hug my grandkids every chance I get! God has blessed me so much that I love sharing pieces from those blessings in my writing.